Four outstanding young athletes have been unveiled as finalists for the Emerging Athlete of the Year award at this year’s AIS Sports Performance Awards.
The quartet are seeking to join a long list of rising stars who have won the award which was first presented in 1995 and includes international basketball stars Lauren Jackson, Dante Exum and Ben Simmons, gymnast Lauren Mitchell and a string of cyclists including 2018 winner Luke Plapp as a winner of this prestigious award.
2019 will be the third year in which Commonwealth Games Australia has been the presenting partner of the emerging athlete award at the #ASPAs.
Finalists for Emerging Athlete of the Year are:
Paige Greco (Para-cycling): Paige won her first selection in an Australian World Championship team at the 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in the Netherlands. She won two gold medals and set two world records in both the C3 Individual Pursuit and Time Trial. She also represented Australia at the 2019 Road World Championships claiming another gold medal and a world title in the Time Trial.
Amy Lawton (Hockey): A 17-year old high school student, Amy, made her debut for the Hockeyroos in the ANZAC day match in New Zealand scoring on debut and making an instant impression. She was then selected for the Oceania Cup Olympic qualification event scoring in the three Test series. She later played in the Olympic Qualifiers against Russia in Perth and scored in the opening match.
Keegan Palmer (Skateboarding): Keegan, aged 16, is Australia’s highest world ranked skateboarding athlete having finished the season at number four. He finished fourth at the 2019 World Championship (Olympic discipline) and was third in the first Olympic Qualifying Event of 2019. He displays fair play, respect and sportsmanship as evidenced in the World Championship final when he was the first to the scene when a fellow competitor was seriously injured. He remained by the athletes’ side whilst medical treatment was administered.
Ria Thompson (Rowing): Ria won the 2019 Women’s Single Scull at the World U23 Rowing Championship in the USA coming from behind to claim victory. She also captured the Australian U23 Women’s Single Scull and the U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull titles. She also won a silver medal in the U23 Women’s Double Scull and a silver medal, representing Victoria, in the Interstate Women’s Eight.
To view all #ASPA’s award finalists visit www.ais.gov.au/events/aspas
Previous Emerging Athlete of the Year Award Winners (Previously AIS Junior Athlete of the Year)
1995 Australian Junior Men’s Basketball – Frank Drimic, Scott McGregor, Phil Doherty, Brad McKinnon
1996 Victoria Roberts (Netball)
1997 Michael Rogers (Cycling)
1998 Lauren Jackson (Basketball)
1999 Lauren Jackson (Basketball), Ben Kersten (Track Cycling) and Jobie Dajka (Track Cycling)
2000 Siobhan Paton (Paralympic Swimming)
2001 Luke Schenscher (Basketball)
2002 Todd Reid (Tennis)
2003 David Barnes (Archery)
2004 Tim Cuddihy (Archery)
2005 Renae Camino (Basketball)
2006 Robert Crowther (Athletics)
2007 Gemma Beadsworth (Water Polo)
2008 Evan O’Hanlon (Paralympic Athletics)
2009 Jack Bobridge (Track Cycling) and Amy Steel (Netball)
2010 Lauren Mitchell (Gymnastics)
2011 Luke Durbridge (Track Cycling)
2012 Sam Willoughby (BMX Cycling)
2013 Dante Exum (Basketball)
2014 Amy Cure (Track cycling)
2015 Ben Simmons (Basketball)
2016 Curtis Luck (Golf)
2017 Kelland O’Brien (Cycling)
2018 Luke Plapp (Cycling)